THE ARRIVAL of the Holy Spirit that Jesus promised his friends rode in upon a wind (or at least the sound of one). Wssshhhhhhhhh! It filled the house. Other remarkable things happened and it was a strange and cacophonous affair given witness to by the 2nd chapter of Acts, but the image is summoned of the Spirit that moved across the face of the deep in the first sentence of the Hebrew bible (Genesis 1:1-2).
Have you ever sat by an open window, or upon the porch and felt the moment a change in the weather arrived? Actually felt it? The curtains rise and wave. The tops of the trees move. A windchime summons your ears. Your body becomes aware. Your pet probably knows it before you do. The arrival of something new, or renewed, like when Mary Poppins arrives on the wind.
“You send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.” (Psalm 104:30)
Hymn to the Spirit
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart:
wean it from earth; through all its pulses move;
stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
and make me love Thee as I ought to love.
— George Croly, 1869
Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart
Maureen Howell, pianist
I love this fresh arrangement by Thomas Keesecker,
reminiscent of the music of Philip Glass.
A poem . . .
The wind blows wherever it pleases
How secretly the bones move
under the skin
and the veins thread their way
through their forests, the trees
of bones, the mosses of cells,
the muscle vines.
How privately the ears
tune themselves to music heard
only in the echoing cave of the head.
And the tongue in its grotto tests
the bitterness of unripe fruit, and wine,
the mouth feel of honey
in the comb. How cunningly our shadows
follow us as we walk.
And our breath, how it moves in
and out without great thought.
Even rain, which needs no summons from us
but flows, a gift from heaven,
as the grasses rise greenly, shivering.
Just so, beauty besieges us
unannounced, invading us, saving our souls.
So it is with the Spirit.
— Luci Shaw, from Adventure of Ascent
+ + +
Come, Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth.